If you’ve ever wondered what the most effective breathing method is for the breaststroke, two time Olympic gold medalist, Mark Gangloff, can show you with the “Goggle Drill.” By keeping your head low to the water while maintaining a relaxed streamline, you’ll be able to take quicker breaths.
Drill Summary: As the swimmer does a breaststroke in line, they will do three different kinds of pulls. On the first, they keep their head down and flat in the water to maintain the streamline. On the second, they lift their head out of the water so the surface of the water touches their nose. Finally, on the third, the nose comes out of the water and the swimmer takes a breath while staying in line.
Founder and coach of Legacy Volleyball Club, Walt Ker, often encounters athletes who struggle to judge the depth of serves off the hand of the server. The “Getting Out of the Box” drill is a recognition exercise that will train players to read and react to short and long serves.
Drill Summary: For the first drill, the player stands on the 22 foot line on the opposite side of the court as the coach, who has a cart of balls. The coach serves balls directly at the player, but either 25 feet or more or 15 feet or less. It’s the player’s job to run up or back, plant their feet, and pass the ball. No side passing is allowed. Another aspect of the drill to add is to have the athlete call out “short” and “deep” just before each serve is hit by the coach. If they struggle with this part of the drill, have them move closer to the coach and take out the passing part of the drill.
Keys to the Drill:
1) No side passing.
2) Beat the ball to the spot.
3) Call out “short” or “deep.”
4) Only run straight forward or straight backward.
Getting out and running isn’t enough to prepare athletes for the rigors of cross country season. Oklahoma State University director of track & field and cross country, Dave Smith, includes core workouts in his team’s training routine to enhance their stamina.
Drill Summary: Here are the stations listed in order:
1. Wheels (Left & Right)
2. Bosu Knees to Chest
3. One Leg Squats
4. Stability Ball Twists
5. Inch Worms & Spider Mans
6. Balance Pad with Med Ball Throws
Keys to the Drill:
1) Use the right form in all stations.
2) Don’t rush.
3) Focus on strengthening your core.
4) Encourage teammates!
The key to increasing backstroke speed lies in the effectiveness of your arms. Josh Davis, American record breaker and Olympic gold medalist, uses the “Spin Drill” and “Swim Spin” to train his arms to whip around quickly in the water, generating more propulsion for faster times.
Drill Summary: For the “Spin Drill,” swimmers simply execute a backstroke and throw their arms as fast as they can through the air. They also whip their arms through the water as fast as they can. The key to this drill is to generate power from the core, torso and hips. Make sure to stop doing the drill if you feel any discomfort in your chest or arms. For the “Swim Spin,” execute a backstroke and focus on keeping arms and legs relaxed throughout the exercise.
This video came from Championship Productions’ video “Josh Davis on Everything Swimming: All 4 Strokes, Starts and Turns.” View other world class Swimming & Diving videos!
Gary Calcagno, Oklahoma State University strength and conditioning coach, learned this group of plyometric exercises from a strength coach clinic early in his career. Wrestlers who train using plyos will become more powerful by working on their lower body’s ability to explode.
Drill Summary: For the box jump, the wrestler stands about a yard away from the box and begins by swinging their arms. The key to the box jump is to get hip/knee/ankle extension and stand up immediately when you land on the top of the box. For the static box jump, the athlete sits on the edge of a two foot box, rocks back with their arms up, then comes down onto their feet and jumps. The feet should be on the ground briefly before springing up onto the box, once again focusing on hip/knee/ankle extension.